In Epistemologies of the South, Boaventura Sousa Santos argues that the most important struggle of our time is the struggle against ‘epistemicide’ and to break free from the epistemological poverty resulting from the dominance of neoliberal ideology that has become the hallmark of the early 21st century. In this chapter, we are arguing that social imaginaries are shaped and reshaped in the margins of the direct sphere of influence of the state, giving rise to ground-breaking experiments that can challenge the epistemological closure that often takes place within institutional spaces. Drawing on three Brazilian case studies, we illustrate the following: how Indigenous people appropriate a segment of the tourist industry commodifying a part of their culture in order to translate the economic capital derived from it into new Indigenous cultural capital to be used in a larger struggle against colonisation how Afro-Brazilian activists built community organisations in order to generate a pathway for disenfranchised Black Brazilians into higher education and how a Black Brazilian pastor managed to survive in a staunchly conservative and often racist Pentecostal church to ensure access to quality education and welfare for slum dwellers. In this chapter, we argue that this informal activist social work is central to the struggle for social alternatives and for social justice. This chapter focuses on some examples of how social work practice is being re-defined from the margins of the profession. The case studies exemplify how community initiatives are often decolonising key aspects of Brazilian society by approaching social issues from a grassroots perspective. The chapter provides inspiring and rich examples of localised action which reposition and reinvigorate epistemologies of the ‘south’, illustrating the liberating potential sourced in the margins. It presents a brief summary of emergent epistemological alternatives in everyday life in the southern Bahia, a state in the northeast of Brazil. Brazilian social work emerged during the first decades of the 20th century at the interstice of two powers that sought to extend their sphere of influence: the post-colonial state and the Catholic church. The underpinning epistemicide of global-scale coloniality is a compelling reason why social work in the margins should be more wholly embraced.